Blaise Alleyne

Internet Filtering/Accountability Software?

Blaise Alleyne at

I have such an intense knee-jerk reaction against internet filtering that I got into a bit of a debate with a friend about local network filtering, like, parental filters in the home as kids get older. I'm still pretty skeptical, but started looking into free software options, like DansGuardian/e2guardian or net responsibility something. Still feels really odd to think about (and really ineffective, but maybe for young kids)...

Anyone have any experience with content filtering or accountability software? (Or parenting...)

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Once kids start actively looking for [blocked material], they're gonna find a way to circumvent the filter, at which point the matter becomes entirely counter-productive. That alone is a decent argument against filtering in the first place. And even supposing you could secure the internet at your house, what about your kids' friends houses? They're gonna find whatever they want to find somewhere.

In other words, if we're talking about filtering or reducing exposure, we should be talking about reducing accidentally stumbling upon [bad stuff], as opposed to perfectly blocking it out. How much time is worth spending on that, as opposed to how to teaching kids how to deal with such situations when they do occur? I dunno.

Douglas Perkins at 2016-10-07T06:36:34Z

For now, I care about: blocking ads, having https everywhere, and not creating accounts in whatever site... aka same strategy for all the family, nothing special for the kid.

For the kid (7 y.o. now) I'm following the "teaching" approach in a similar way as we do for the non-computing life: when possible, we go together to everyplace; if he is alone (school, soccer class, browsing videos in the tablet, etc) he has to be careful, don't trust everybody/everyplace, keep in mind that the internet (as the streets) is a "wild place" and some people use it for the bad, and post ugly things, or for adults only. Better stick to the places/sites/contents that we all know they are safe. Feel comfortable to talk to me about any doubt or idea or anything that arises: I'm not going to judge or ban directly, I will try to understand his point of view and explain and give advice, with love.

About having his own devices or use them autonomous from me, for now I say "no until you know well how they work and know how to fix them when they are broken".

We'll see what happens when he grows a bit more.

Laura Arjona Reina at 2016-10-07T11:45:49Z

Blaise Alleyne, Charles Stanhope, Benjamin Cook, Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) and 1 others likes this.

If I have children someday, they won't be able to use a computer until they can build their own machine and get the operating system installed.  Once they've done that, they'll have full access to the internet once they are able to figure out how to get online.  By that point, I hope I've taught them enough to handle anything they might come across.

Benjamin Cook at 2016-10-07T19:43:10Z

Blaise Alleyne likes this.

@Douglas Perkins that's really been my feeling too. The filtering would be such a minor speedbump. I'd rather inoculate than shield. But I do wonder if a low effort minor speedbump would be worth it, just for those, as you say, those accidental kinds of cases. Way too easy to circumvent anything though, and I would worry about the trust issues in setting up surveillance or filtering.

Blaise Alleyne at 2016-10-09T02:55:19Z